According to a study conducted by Micro Biz Mag in January 2020, 84-percent of the population procrastinate to some degree. Obviously, it is a trap or position that many of us fall into. While it is comforting to know that I am not alone, let’s explore some ways to help us procrastinate a little less. Before providing these tips, I would like to make it clear that procrastination is not the same as being lazy.
Procrastination is postponing or deferring an action until a later time. You are choosing to do something else. Whereas being lazy is defined as unwilling to work or use your energy. Procrastinators are using their energy but often picking the tasks they choose to work on. Therefore, the first step in avoiding procrastination is to identify whether you are procrastinating. If you’re putting off a task due to re-prioritization of workload or because you do not have all the resources to tackle it, more than likely, you are not procrastinating.
You are probably procrastinating if you:
- Put things off indefinitely.
- Fill your day with low-priority tasks while high-priority tasks are neglected.
- Consistently handle the same paperwork or read the same email messages without making decisions or taking action.
- Start tasks and leave them half-completed.
- Make time for unimportant tasks that people ask you to so
Often understanding the reason behind procrastination can help you identify how to reduce or avoid it. Understand that procrastination is a pattern of behavior, a habit. Therefore, multiple strategies may be needed.
- Forgive Yourself. Just admit that you have procrastinated in the past and make an affirmation to do better in the future.
- Make a Plan. Commit to getting tasks done. Set goals to begin and complete tasks.
- Reward Yourself. When tasks are difficult but completed on time, reward yourself with a treat.
- Get an Accountability Partner. There are many tasks that require an accountability partner. Think about working out. Sometimes we need a person there that has our best interest at heart but doesn’t allow us to stop making progress.
- Minimize Distractions. Remove any distractions that prevent you from concentrating and getting things done.
- Leverage Your Peak. Most of us have a peak time that we are most productive. Identify and use that time to get those larger or unpleasant tasks completed.
When procrastination is reduced or avoided, benefits include achieving more of your goals, and fewer missed opportunities. Start today and employ the strategies that work best for you!